Attacker Marley Watkins is confident Aberdeen’s revival has started and aims to keep the momentum going against league leaders Rangers at Ibrox.
The Dons ended a barren 10-game run without victory by overcoming Hibs 1-0 at Pittodrie.
Next up is an away trip to defending Premiership champions Rangers on Wednesday.
Having also ended a five-game Premiership losing streak by beating Hibs summer signing, Watkins says confidence is now restored ahead of the trip to Glasgow.
He insists Aberdeen’s players understand the expectation of securing wins and aim to now deliver.
The 31-year-old said: “We had been in bad form, so it was good to get a win and hopefully things start going up now.
“Our confidence wasn’t the highest, so it was all about the win and getting three points.
“We all know we need to deliver for Aberdeen as it is a big club.
“It was a great win against Hibs.”
Watkins admits he is still not fully match fit
Secured on a two-year deal in the final week of the summer transfer window, the defeat of Hibs was only Watkins’ second start since penning that contract.
His impact at Pittodrie has been hampered by a hamstring injury.
Watkins returned to action as a substitute in the 2-1 loss to Dundee and came in for his first start in six weeks (since the 2-0 loss to Motherwell, September 11) when facing Hibs.
🔥 A big performance from our 7⃣ today.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) October 23, 2021
Watkins said: “I am not fully match fit and it was my first game back.
“It was all about the win and the team and I am buzzing to get the three points.”
Influential return to starting line-up
The clash against Hibs was a must-win and Aberdeen delivered to take pressure off manager Stephen Glass and the squad, having slumped to the club’s worst run of form since 2010.
In the face of mounting pressure and criticism on the team, Pittodrie chairman Dave Cormack had made an impassioned defence of manager Glass days before the Hibs game.
Watkins played a key role in a victory that could be the catalyst to reignite the season.
The attacker made a welcome return to Pittodrie in the transfer window, having impressed on a loan deal from Bristol City last season.
Welsh cap Watkins had been an integral part of the attack last season until suffering a hamstring injury in October last year.
That injury forced Watkins to cut short his loan deal and return to then parent club Bristol City.
Following his exit from Bristol City in the summer, Watkins joined Cardiff City on a short-term contract until the end of August after a successful trial.
Despite scoring twice on his debut in a 3-2 defeat of Sutton United in the EFL Cup, Cardiff boss Mick McCarthy opted not to extend Watkins’ short term deal.
That offered the window for Aberdeen to move for the free agent.
Now recovered from his hamstring problem, the hope will be Watkins can add an extra dimension to a Dons attack spear-headed by United States international Christian Ramirez.
In scoring the winner against Hibs at the weekend, Ramirez, 30, took his goal tally for the season to eight.
All focus moves to Rangers at Ibrox
In a huge week, the Dons also host Hearts, the Premiership’s only unbeaten team, at Pittodrie on Saturday.
Watkins insists securing three points to end the winless run was vital and praised the resolute Dons for digging in to get the win.
He said: “At times we played some great stuff (against Hibs).
“In the second half we got a bit nervous and a bit deep, but that is because of our form and we needed to win.
“We got it over the line, which is what matters.
“Sometimes it was backs against the wall as Hibs were not going to accept a 1-0 defeat.
“They are a good team.
“We had to be resolute and dug in deep, although I felt we were never really under that much threat.
“There a few scary moments, but we got the win and now we move on to the next.”